Hednesford Town manager Rob Smith believes his Pitmen outfit are in a strong position to build on a run of five games without defeat after last Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Barrow, as his side travel to Stockport County tomorrow.
The Hednesford boss has taken encouragement from the performances in recent weeks of his three major summer signings as Steve Diggin, Glenn Walker and James Hurst reach full fitness and top form ahead of a game at Edgeley Park which, for many supporters, is one of the highlights of the season.
‘I thought all three were excellent last week but I have to say the whole team was superb. However, it’s clear to see that these lads were three major signings for me in the summer and it’s great to see them all getting back to match fitness.
‘Stockport play at a fantastic stadium for this level of football. I’m sure we all look forward to this one when the fixtures come out. It’s difficult as they are a good team with great support but we must embrace the challenge head on.’
With Hednesford finding their feet in the past five unbeaten matches after an inconsistent start, Smith sees a feeling of slight disappointment that the league leaders weren’t toppled at Keys Park last week, despite Barrow taking the lead, as evidence that his team have moved up a couple of gears as they look to keep pace with the play-off places.
‘I really believed we could get the win but having been a goal down to the leaders, who are very strong at the back, I was happy to get the point, although if any team deserved to win it was us and I think that shows how far we have come.
‘The most satisfying thing for me is that we more than competed with a very good team and we put in a solid performance for ninety minutes, not just in spells which we have done previously.’
Stockport, with all their Football League history, are always a big scalp for any team travelling to Greater Manchester and the Pitmen will undoubtedly believe that, with a fully fit squad to choose from, they can repeat last season’s 1-0 win when a goal from Charlie Anagho-Ntamark recorded an important victory in their ultimately unsuccessful tilt at promotion.
Should the trio of Hurst, Diggin and Walker, along with already established performers so revered by the Hednesford faithful, build another one of Smith’s famed runs of form, dreams of play-off glory could be in full flow come the New Year yet again.
Hednesford Town Form – LWDWWD
Previous Result – Hednesford Town 1-1 Barrow AFC – Vanarama Conference North – Saturday 8th November 2014
Next Fixture – Tamworth (H) – Vanarama Conference North – Saturday 22nd November 2014
League Position – 7th
Stockport County Form – DWLWLW
Previous Result – Stockport County 2-1 Brackley Town – Vanarama Conference North – Saturday 8th November 2014
Next Fixture – Chorley (A) – Vanarama Conference North – Tuesday 18th November 2014
League Position – 8th
KO – 3pm
Address of Ground – Edgeley Park, Hardcastle Road, Stockport, Greater Manchester, SK3 9DD